INDIEchouette


MUZAK AND SUCH

The weather was perfect.

We rode squished in the back seat of Carol’s car to the park.  Not that the park is not within walking distance.  Just, it would be convenient to bring Carol’s car and have a ride.  You know.  We played frisbee.  By the time we were all panting from trying to catch and throw with a perfect wrist snap, every last one of us was thirsty.  And there were seven of us.

Zelda’s was right there, but Katie pointed out that Zelda’s also has new employees “every day.”  This is actually true.  Plus, Zelda’s is inferior to Cherry Alley.  It’s simple.  We walked the extra blocks to the clearly superior café, and those of us without money ordered cups of water.  For some reason, don’t ask me why, I always feel guilty when I order water from a café or restaurant, especially if I’m not ordering anything else.  I should just wear a sign around my neck whenever I plan on eating somewhere.  “Hi, I’m a cheap bastard.”  But I really do love Cherry Alley.  I really do spend most of my time and money there.  And they really do play superior music.  They are superior.

We sweated it out at a table meant for four, and trekked back to the park for more frisbee.  Aulden went home and we continued to play frisbee.  Paige and Tim left, and we played more frisbee.  And then Carol drove the remaining three of us home.

The rest of the evening was humble.  I worked out for a fairly long time.  I watched television, made pasta, and here I am.  Simple.

Here is one thing that bothers me.

I constantly tell you that I listened to Bright Eyes because Erika urged me.  I will remember that day for the rest of my life.  The first album I listened to.  The first song, even.  The sun in my room.  That red plastic swivel chair from Ikea.  It was a profound experience that allowed me to branch out my musical tastes.  It started with other artists on Saddle Creek.  Then I used Amazon as my tool to new artists.  I found the Arcade Fire there and fell in love from the first time I listened to “Neighborhood #1.”  And when I say love, I mean love.  Erika gave me the hint about Rilo Kiley with the Saddle Creek 50 album, and I remember becoming addicted.  I added the two Rilo Kiley songs, “With Arms Outstretched” and “Jenny You’re Barely Alive,” to my poserpod.  And I was in the car with my mother on a sunny afternoon.  We were on our way back home from the Food Lion in Goochland.  I listened to those two songs in succession, and it made the afternoon seem infinite.  There is no better way to describe something epic.  Infinite.

Jared and Jordan noticed that I have a story about every song or artist or album I have ever been intimately connected with.  I even have stories about Motion City Soundtrack and Relient K and Switchfoot.  Avril Lavigne.  Yes, I loved them.  I don’t anymore, but whenever I find people who like them, I just think…there’s hope in this world.  They might branch out like I did.  Maybe they will have a friend with the decency to introduce them to Bright Eyes.  That friend will give them the right album, and they will listen to the right song first.  Maybe.

So you get it now.  I’m in love with music.

I’ve offered a million times to make Rachael a mix CD.  She hears my music loud and clear in the house every day.  My experiments.  New songs.  I told her years ago to borrow my Sufjan Stevens albums and become acquainted.  She would like them.  “Chicago” is pretty mainstream, especially because of Little Miss Sunshine.  Of course, she doesn’t listen.  But then she gets a whole slew of new friends who are casual listeners.  And she gets an iPod.  And she wants to fit in.  So she abuses the privilege.  And now what do I hear pouring out of her iPod?  Two Sufjan Stevens songs.  One M.I.A. song.  Three Shins songs.  ONE Arcade Fire song.  Two Eisley songs.  Maybe five Beatles songs tops.  Oh, and you can’t forget Tegan and Sara because she has three of their songs.

It’s okay that she listens to good music now.  In fact, it’s great.  But if it’s so casual that she won’t explore any songs that aren’t “popular,” ones that her friends won’t listen to by chance–so casual that she won’t be compelled to look into the artists and similar artists and other songs and new genres–what’s the point?!  It defeats the entire purpose of enjoying music and thinking for your goddamn self.  In fact, her friends get their music from boys.  Boys who get their music from probably skate videos and good movies.  So even her friends who encourage her to branch out a little aren’t original.  It’s all passed down.  But don’t you think it would be fun to be the trendsetter for a change?

And granted, I find my music with the help of lovely blogs and lovely friends and movies and such.  But that doesn’t mean I don’t branch out on my own sometimes using the resources I’m given like Amazon and Last.fm.  I guess we all have to piggyback a little, but when someone doesn’t appreciate what they’re given or takes it for granted or turns her nose up at it until it is popular, I get extremely pissed.

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LE CULTURE DE FRANCE ET LE CULTURE D’INDIE

Got sick yesterday, recovered by laying around after school and watching Paris, Je t’aime.  Incroyable.  Indescribable.  I went into French class this morning all ready to use my nasal “r” sound, and then I remembered that it is just high school French and even my teacher does not have it in him.  And we are American.  Pennsylvanian at that.  We are allowed to use these German accents to speak German, but we cannot risk the embarrassment of sounding really, truly French.  How patriotic would that be, in conservative central Pennsylvania, where the French are pansy fags?  Mais j’aime le culture de France.  Even if no one else does.  Just like I love Rilo Kiley in all of its indie rock, folk-tinged glory, even if no one else does because it is too “country.”

This segment reminded me a ton of Garden State.

The overall feeling of the film was nostalgia.  Little stories about love.  I laughed, I cried, I thought about my own love, my own life.  Each part was delicate.  Just five minutes long.  But each had something in it for me.  It was like peeking into all of these different lives and just seeing that they’re all somehow alike, despite socioeconomic status, despite gender or marital status or exact situation.  Precise location.  And it’s because of love.  It made me sad that I mostly had to read subtitles because my savvy for listening comprehension does not extend far beyond the tapes in French class or my teacher and peers, aided with textual references and G-rated vocabulary.  But it makes me that much more motivated to start listening to RFI every day and to download more good French artists.  Maybe not more squeaky clean Lorie.  I know that there must be French indie.  I just don’t know where to find something cent pour cent French.  Because a lot of it (like the Arcade Fire or Charlotte Gainsbourg) is interspersed with English.

Anyway, tomorrow, I am going to New York City for the first time to see Young Frankenstein.  Although I am excited, I am also extremely nervous and intimidated and I really can’t see myself going there.  It’s a cruel city, but I imagine it is also beautiful.  But how do you not look like a tourist when you are enchanted?  I guess it’s not such a bad thing being a tourist; loads of people are tourists in New York City.  But I see it as bad.  I mean, I get so acquainted with the bands I listen to so that I am not a n00b.  So wouldn’t it make sense to do the same with cities I want to visit?

I am less nervous for going to DC on Friday with art.  I have been to DC a million times.  We talk about DC every day in AP Gov.  It’s just going to be another trip there.  I am comfortable with DC.  I mean, it’s halfway home.

I went downtown with Brent to Cherry Alley Café today.  Got a hot chocolate.  And while we were sitting around talking, the oh-so-cute “Anyone Else But You” came on the stereo system.  By now, you should know it by heart.  By the Moldy Peaches.  I mentioned that it is a shame: Everyone is now calling dibbs on all these grand indie bands like they own them, “I heard them first,” hoarding them, sticking them in their Facebook profiles.  Because they have one popular song that the masses like.  And it’s so fucking cute.  And it’s about ugly people loving each other.  How cute is that?

But before their exposure from Juno, no one had heard of the Moldy Peaches.  Nothing wrong with Juno.  I, for one, loved the film.  I could relate to the protagonist.  A sarcastic high schooler who keeps getting caught in romantic waters way over her head, kind of quirky or “off,” in love with her best male friend and unwilling to admit it for a long time.  Very into music.  Quite the fan of hoodies.  Guys at school are not interested, for the most part.  Then you could go into superficial things.  Drives mom’s minivan.  Lives in a small town.  Then you could get more superficial.  Short compared to everyone else.  Brown hair.  Whatever.

But the masses fell in love with Juno because she is not your typical teen protagonist.  That’s just it–she is different.  She fits into the indie subculture.  That stereotype.  And so all of these uneducated, normal teenagers go to the movies and they see Juno, and they see a part of themselves in her.  Just like whenever I go to the movies and walk out thinking that maybe a small part of me looks just like Keira Knightley because she is gorgeous and spunky.  But I look nothing like Keira Knightley.  Many of these kids are nothing like Juno.

So they jump on the bandwagon late, try to become weird by trying to fit in with people like you and me.  The really, truly, incurably weird ones.  The ones who are in love with music and don’t give a shit about looking like a character.  And am I looking for street cred?  No.  No, because I have always been like this.  Introverted, introspective, and “off.”  And no movie is ever going to make me look like a character.  I will always, always be like this.  It is a natural progression from who I was as a sophomore/junior.  Music took over my life.  My priority is not to look as credible as I can.  I have other things to worry about.  I love French, I love several bands wholeheartedly, and I love to write.

But here’s where it gets weird.  Here’s where my story disappoints.  The kids who will change in light of Juno and other movies promoting the indie stereotype, they do not see my peers and I as any cooler for being this way naturally.  They will not try to befriend us and talk to us about how awesome our hobbies and plain clothes are.  How they always secretly wished they were like this, wasting life, and how free it feels to look natural.  Normal.  Because I am pretty average-looking.  They will just try to change their friends to be like them.  So that our little underground thing goes public and then we just look like everyone else again.  And the only way to tell us apart?  Talk to us.  Their personalities won’t change.  They probably still won’t have interesting things to say.  Oh, and they still won’t be able to spell.

I think that hanging out with Brent brings out the cynic in me.  He is, after all, the one who pointed this out, that Juno really stereotyped the indie subculture and that kids just find it intriguing.

Well, music.  I guess we can give them those popular songs.  Make them feel like they can get something genuine out of life because that’s the only genuine thing they’ll ever get out of life.  And for those of you who will continue to stick with the subculture when the hype’s all over?  Good for you.  Because Juno really is a great movie, and if you stuck it out after you fell in love with it, then more power to you.

For some time, I’ve been lovin’ on Sam Beam.  You know, Iron & Wine.  I downloaded this song as per my cousin’s request and shoved it aside for a while, but I recently unearthed it and fell in love.  It’s like a long evening of driving towards the sunset.  I love the handclaps.  While Sam Beam’s eyebrows may only get one star (he has some, does he not?!), the song gets all five.

Boy With A Coin | Iron & Wine
[zshare] [mediafire]
[buy] [mp3 direct link]
Iron & Wine’s Website
Iron & Wine’s MySpace

P.S.  I love that my blog has the 26th most popular song on the Hype Machine today, but I also hate it because it was such a fuck-up.  Give me a spot for something I actually deserve, goddamnit.  Whatever, though.  Again, Charlatantric deserves your hits.  Go to his blog and discover truly underrated music.



HARHARHARHAR
18 January, 2008, 1249 am
Filed under: Barrels of Fun, Music, My Experience with Existence | Tags:

This day was momentous.  Some reasons, I’ll share and others, I won’t.

The first shareable, portable reason is some occurrence in art class.  I was sewing up my Arcade Fire bag like a BAMF when all of a sudden, I heard this all-too-familiar tinkling of the piano.  The reason it was all too familiar is that it was my favourite song of all time, “Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)” by the Arcade Fire.  At first, I thought I was officially going insane because it was playing rather boldly in my head this time (as opposed to the other times), and then I realized that someone else in the room acknowledged, “Yeah, Arcade Fire.”  Of course, I almost had a heart attack, and I’m pretty sure I know who put it on.  But as I finished making my Arcade Fire bag, Funeral played on, and it really made me remember and reappreciate the glory that is the Arcade Fire.  Reignited that there fire.  Thus, I had cravings to listen again all day once the album was  over.  It made my day for quite a while.  I love the Arcade Fire.  I love hearing that other people love them.  I love dancing to them.  I love thinking about dancing to “Haiti.”

Then after school, Brent and I both got frostbitten toes in the snowy park and drank his delicious beverages and talked.  I shall not exploit it all, but I will say that when we both returned home to our computers and AIM, mark this, he said, “lol.”  And he says it’s the only time he’ll ever say it.  You know why he said it?  Because I play Runescape.  VALID, yeah.  Bee tee dubz, we iz dating.  I know that’s worthy of something far greater than a bee tee dubz, like an oh-em-eff-gee-zee or an oh-em-gee-smiley-face, but there’s a combination here of wanting to remain nonchalant for your sake, as the reader, so you don’t get confused, and also…how else would I tell you people?  Nonchalant mentionings, that’s how.  It’s a grand time.

Anyway, because I love the Arcade Fire’s muzakkk so, soo much, voilà, une chanson.  Tu peux danser.

Neighborhood #3 (Power Out) | The Arcade Fire



THE HOPEFUL MIX

Broken Heart by Hotel Lyric on Flickr

Pretty dramatic. Haha, I hate being dramatic.

Since my love life has been screwed over as of last night, my insides have been pretty cold all day. TOTAL FUCKING KARMA. I deserve it. Thus, today deserves a not-love song. However, I feel that posting a not-love song would be jinxing it. So instead of posting a not-love song, I’m going to post some of my favourite songs for “rough times.” We’ll call it the “Hopeful Mix.” Or something. Kinda corny.

Hopeful Mix | zip file

1. A Better Son/Daughter | Rilo Kiley [buy]
And sometimes when you’re on/You’re really fuckin’ on/And your friends they sing along and they love you/But the lows are so extreme/That the good seems fuckin’ cheap/And it teases you for weeks in its absence
Basically, this is why I love Rilo Kiley so much. I mean, they’re kickin’ and screamin’ and marchin’ for happiness. That’s what this song almost feels like–a march. And it reminds you of everyone who loves you, and it put Jenny Lewis in the ranks of people who’ve got your back. She knows what you’re going through, and you’ll survive. Look how awesome she turned out.

2. Crown of Love | The Arcade Fire [buy]
If you still want me/Please forgive me/Because the spark/Is not within me
“Crown of Love” is definitely a winter song by The Arcade Fire, which is definitely a winter band. The violin says it all. My favourite part is the end, which you could almost dance to.

3. All The Young Dudes | Mott the Hoople [buy]
And my brother’s back at home with his Beatles and his Stones/We never got it off on that Revolution stuff/What a drag too many snags
This track’s in the trailer for Juno. The lyrics aren’t particularly hopeful or anything. Just, the use in the trailer makes it out to be a hopeful song, so that’s how I’ll always see it.

4. Hold Me Now (Radio Edit) | The Polyphonic Spree [buy]
You’re still miles away
What a fanfare. But seriously, the Polyphonic Spree can grant hope any day. It’s just the whole orchestra vibe they’ve got goin’ on.

5. Hey Jude | The Beatles [buy]
Take a sad song and make it better/Remember to let her under your skin/Before you begin to make it better
My reasoning? The transition from softer to louder. Also, fuckin’ revolution. I want to see Across the Universe.

6. Your Heart Is An Empty Room | Death Cab for Cutie [buy]
All you see/Is where else you could be when you’re at home
This is one of my favourite songs of all time, and I just wish I could convey the extent to which I love it, but I just can’t. I wish I had a pal like Ben Gibbard.

7. Cleanse Song | Bright Eyes [buy]
And if life seems absurd/What you need is some laughter/And a season to sleep/And a place to get clean/Maybe Los Angeles/Somewhere no one’s expecting
Erika brought me to Bright Eyes with Lifted. “Coat Check Dream Song sounds nothing like my first tastes of indie, but it’s so irresistibly beachy clean. Although I’ve not yet completely accepted Cassadaga, maybe just because Conor Oberst was clean in making it, I do like this song. It’s really light.

8. Hey, You In The Pants | The Underquotes
The Underquotes broke up earlier in 2007 after releasing a few pretty tight songs. None of their songs have lyrics, and this one especially may be a bit raw, but just listen. It’s not a sad song, that’s for sure. To me, it just speaks for itself.

9. The Henney Buggy Band | Sufjan Stevens [buy]
Oh Father John, you cannot tell me/What’s right and wrong/You cannot tell me
This song was introduced to me as the favourite Sufjan Stevens song of someone very close to me. It wasn’t until recently, though, that I actually picked it up and started listening avidly. “The Henney Buggy Band” seems happy. But it seems that way because it’s nostalgic. And I dunno about you, but nostalgia makes me feel good sometimes.

10. Look Up | Stars [buy]
So far keeping it together’s been enough/But look up rain is falling/Looks like love
The reason I started listening to this song in the first place is that it was mentioned in the book Miss Misery. David wants to give Cat a mix tape, and he puts this on it. He notes that it’s hopeful, and there’s hope for them to be together. Of course, in the end, he doesn’t give her the CD after seeing her immense collection of them and learning of her immense dislike for them. Well, I’m not saying there’s hope for me to be with someone, but I am saying that it’s possible to be as happy again.

11. Kissing the Lipless | The Shins [buy]
But you’ve/Got too much to wear on your sleeves/It has too much to do with me/And secretly/I want bury in the yard/The grey remains/Of a friendship scarred
The Shins make me happy.

12. Teenage Love Song | Rilo Kiley
I still love you/And always will/All those motel rooms/Ya footed the bill
LAWLZ. So much angerrrr! I’m not mad myself, but ah, her situation makes mine seem fairly minuscule.